Jurgen Klopp defended substituting Mohamed Salah early in the second-half of Liverpool’s history-making home defeat by Chelsea, saying he could not 'risk' leaving the Premier League’s top scorer on the pitch.
Liverpool have now lost five consecutive games at Anfield for the first time in their history and were chasing an equaliser when Klopp decided to hook Salah after just 62 minutes.
‘When the boys look disappointed that's not a problem,’ Klopp said of the substitution and Salah’s reaction.
‘I could have changed other players but he looked in that moment like he felt the intensity and I didn't want to risk him. That’s all.
‘I've known him a long time and Mo usually looks fresh. I didn’t want to risk him. That’s it.’
On the defeat, which made Liverpool the first reigning champions of England to lose five in a row at home, Klopp said: ‘I told the boys what I saw tonight. It’s not about technique or something like that. It’s about being resilient, heart, all these kinds of things.'
Left back Andy Robertson was brutally honest and said: 'We can't rely on the past. Last season is over with. It is done. We have been nowhere near good enough to what Liverpool should be. We are dropping further and it is not good enough.'
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said the secret to winning at Anfield was not ‘over-thinking’ their game plan.
‘It was a well-deserved win,' Tuchel said. 'A big performance and a big result. When you play at Anfield you cannot over-think. You have no time to think. We did this excellent. It was a very, very good team performance.’
Goalscorer Mason Mount added: ‘Where the season is at the moment, it’s very tight. We want to keep pushing and we need to win these big games.’